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On the question of abortion

  • Sep. 28th, 2008 at 11:14 AM
views_livemint
Hotpinksummer emailed us to ask about the "wedge issue" of abortion. I know that I disagree vehemently on this topic with my parents, but I wonder if it's really something that would shift either of our votes. If McCain were pro-choice or if Obama were pro-life, all thing's else being equal, would it change your vote? I think this is an issue that garners a lot of press, but does not really influence the vote. What do you guys think?

-Melissa

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nebulosity wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
No, it would not change my vote because the candidates' positions on all the other issues are so much more important. If I was absolutely undecided about who to vote for, the issue of abortion might be a deciding factor.

The fact of the matter is that the Economy and our relations with foreign countries is so much more important right now -- despite the fact that all of us take pretty strong positions on the issue of abortion.
princess2000204 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
It's not going to be my main deciding factor with my voting choice.

There's other issues going on at the moment that should have our focus, in my opinion.



(no subject) - mamagaea - Sep. 28th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) Expand
lurkitty wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
I agree with this comment. I am very pro-choice, and I have supported anti-choice candidates whom I knew would not use their office to go against the will of their constituents. It's not your personal beliefs that matter, it's how you uphold the will of the people.

AS an aside, I do not use the term pro-life to describe those who are against abortion. Simply being against abortion does not mean a person is in favor of life. I am old enough to recall how many women died without safe and sanitary abortion services. I know many of those who are anti-abortion are pro-war and pro-death penalty. I think "pro-life" is a misnomer.

It is also possible to be pro-choice and not personally in favor of abortion. You can support another woman's right to decide without having to have an abortion yourself. This debate is really between those who are in favor of choice and those who want to deny choice to everyone.
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 28th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - vonilyn - Sep. 28th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 28th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - credendovides - Sep. 28th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - libco - Sep. 28th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 28th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - lurkitty - Sep. 28th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 28th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - lurkitty - Sep. 28th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - misscake - Sep. 28th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beckyzoole - Sep. 28th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC) Expand
lurkitty, point taken - views_livemint - Sep. 28th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - a_starstar - Sep. 28th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC) Expand
You are not an island. - sahmahnthah - Oct. 6th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC) Expand
shalie wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
It heavily effects my vote. I had considered McCain before her took on Palin. Her attitudes about abortion, family, etc. has given Obama my vote. At least two of my friends acted the exact same way. And it's not a pro-choice/pro-life thing - its the government doesn't get to tell me what to do with my body thing.
sahmahnthah wrote:
Oct. 6th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
u r not an island.
Regarding your thing. Government doesn't...... my body thing. If you are not acting responsibly or accountably with respect to your behaviour then it has to be "someone's" thing, because you are not an island. Your behaviour affects everyone living on the island. Which means, being that you are a member of a certain culture, society and country, you are obligated to defer to their governances given that your behaviour may adversely affect the other inhabitants on the island. I believe that pro-life and pro-choice issues are more about "you are not an island" in combination with preserving individual freedoms. I am pro-life, however, if a 10 year old (underage)female becomes pregnant and where it is almost certain that her and her child will become a burden upon the public purse, especially for all of their lives then I would have no problem recommending that the child be aborted so that the good of the entire "island" can be maintained. It's not a recommendation I would make easily or without conscious but given that the island is made up of so many sections as in a pie, requires that we understand as well as appreciate how every person's behaviour as well as choices affects one another both adversely and positively.
lurkitty wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
I think it is mainly important because the next president will be adding judges to the Supreme Court. Overturning Roe v. Wade is part of the Republican Party platform. That, coupled with the current Court's stand against pay equity for women makes the selection of justices a crucial issue for the next four years.

Any proponent of women's rights needs to explore the candidates' stand on appointing justices. McCain has already said he will be appointing more justices like Scalia and Roberts. Is that really the kind of person who will protect your rights?
credendovides wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I haven't been following the supreme court much since Bush's appointments. Is someone planning on stepping down soon?
(no subject) - lurkitty - Sep. 28th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC) Expand
Frames can be influential. - sahmahnthah - Oct. 6th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC) Expand
grinninfoole wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
It depends upon how one frames the issue. If one is "Pro-Life" because one views abortion as murder, it's a make or break issue. (Snarky comments aside, no candidate could ever get elected if they billed themselves as "Pro-Murder".)

If one is "Pro-Choice" because one recognizes the tyranny of compelling a person to carry a pregnancy to term regardless of their wishes or circumstances, then it can be an all or nothing issue, as well.

Most people don't have such distilled views on the matter, and thus will allow other issues to sway them.
kali921 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
The only way that I would ever vote for John McCain is if he was running against Idi Amin, and even then, I'd be torn.

Abortion is one of the most important issues to me in any election. I'm strongly pro-choice, and I have voted for candidates based almost solely on the fact that the candidate is pro-choice. I will likely continue to do so.

If Obama were anti-choice - and let's call it what it really is, because pro-lifers are essentially anti-choice - I'd be negatively inclined towards him, but as other people have pointed out, what's more important is how the candidate articulates how they intend to act in office. The Presidential office is vitally important because the President has the power to appoint Supreme Court justices, and if a candidate's stated agenda is to overturn Roe vs. Wade, then I could not in good conscience vote for them no matter how much I agreed with their stances on other issues.

But I sure as hell wouldn't vote for McCain. If it was down to a pro-choice McCain and anti-choice Obama, I'd take the opportunity to vote Green.

Edited at 2008-09-28 08:22 pm (UTC)
vonilyn wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
Personally, it is a deciding factor not because of the "abortion" vs "baby killing" aspects of the argument itself, but because of the many little "sub-issues" under that same umbrella. The issue is a good insight into the candidates themselves.

The issue of choice vs. life is one of those that affect *every* individual on a very personal level, male or female, at some point in their lives, and I believe that it should not be a political decision. The science and health concerns are still in debate on the issue, there is no clear argument one way or another and it would be harmful to our society, to progress in science and health fields globally, to inflict the beliefs of one party over the beliefs of the citizens.

I think who is voted in as president isn't being handed a blank-check on which to run the country the way their personal beliefs see fit, but instead by what is BEST for the country in the long run. Any platform or candidate who takes one side or the other with intent to enforce their beliefs on the nation deserves extra scrutiny, because it is a good barometer for how they view their voters - as either individuals speaking their mind via the voting process, or as mere blind masses of clamoring fans trying to "win" something.
pennyann wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
How someone views a subject and how they would legislate it or like to see it legislated are hopefully not the same thing. Someone can be personally pro-choice or pro-life (or more accurately, anti-choice) but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will want to see things legislated that way. I think the importance of a candidate's abortion stance all comes down to the picking of Supreme Court judges, and whether or not you think the person elected president will use their stance on those issues (and in some cases, their religion as an "excuse" or bolster to their stance on those issues) when they think about a lifetime appointment and who is fit to scrutinize the law of the land from the bench. In other words, it is a lot more complicated than whether someone is "pro-choice" or "pro-life".

I think if all things were equal, yes it would shift my vote. I would vote on this issue like I do on most others, with the person whose viewpoint I agree with the most. But the bottom line is... all other things are not equal, so it is not likely that this issue that will make or break someone's vote in this campaign... at least not mine.

weedblossom wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
It factors heavily into my decision, but it's not the only aspect of their platform I look at. I like the way Biden put it best because it espouses how I feel exactly (and I'm paraphrasing): I believe that life starts at conception and so as a *personal* choice, would choose life; but I do not have the right to force that *personal* belief on anyone else. As such, I consider myself pro-choice. So if I've got a candidate in front of me that is pro-life enough to want to overturn Roe vs. Wade, I would be very concerned and inclined to vote for the other candidate.
dangerous_47 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Can I just point out about your tags that right now it's not the separate tags I suspect you wanted but just one big tag.

You really should put , in between them to separate them.

Also I think it might affect me, if I had a good think about it. I do think it should be your choice and not like illegal but i do think there should be a limit to when you can. I think there is.

Does that make any sense? Like when your only a few weeks along or what not, okay but if it's like months and getting close, then you know.

I'm not very articulate. I just wanted to point to the tags bit but not be off topic. lol.
views_livemint wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Tags
Ha, thanks, sorry! Just getting used to this. Point taken.
Re: Tags - dangerous_47 - Sep. 28th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC) Expand
lennoxmacbeth wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
I think this topic and how "if McCain were pro-choice" and "if Obama were pro-life" is worded is misleading. (Granted, I am not fond of the terms "pro-choice" and "pro-life" in general.)

Senator Obama's stand on expecting women to be able to make competent decisions for themselves is one of the factors that I greatly respect about him. If this were the only thing I disagreed with him on, then no - it would not influence my vote. At the moment, there are only a few areas where I disagree with his platform, so it still would not likely influence my vote; I do not feel that any candidate will ever be able to represent me 100%, as I am a minority in numerous ways and come from the lowest economic level of our population.

However, I think that - in the case of someone who is almost exactly 50-50 on a candidate and this is an important issue to them - it could be a powerful motivator one way or another.

This topic is of particular concern to me at the moment, because it's suddenly become a topic of contention on our campus - notably, anti-Obama propaganda being passed about suggesting that Senator Obama not only supports partial-birth abortions, but those that use brutal methods of killing a fetus who is still viable. This is far from the truth, and it irritates me greatly to hear it being spread as fact, but it demonstrates just how passionately some people feel about the topic.

For those who are curious how Senator Obama does stand on abortion, read here: http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm
miss_sunshine82 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
I agree with those who have flagged up it's how candidates can put their personal beliefs aside for the good of the people.

I'm pro-choice - I don't advocate using abortion as a lazy form of contraception, but neither do I advocate criminalising abortion or judging people without considering their circumstances.

In my mind, someone who can simply brush aside the rape victims, the incest victims, the women going through complete emotional trauma and state that abortion shouldn't be an option doesn't have the necessary ability to see outside their own experiences.

If being pro-choice was the only thing I agree with a candidate on, I doubt I would vote for them - but, for me, it is certainly a big issue and a potential vote-swinger.
mle292 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
No.

Abortion is not going to become illegal in the U.S., though it has been overturned in some states. it's a fake issue that candidates or parties use to distract voters from real issues and to sway statewide or smaller elections.

Supreme Court Justice Alito was sworn in January 31st of 2006, thus making a majority of Supreme Court justices that openly favored overturning Roe v. Wade (the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case that made abortion legal).

At the time, a majority of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Senate were vocally in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, as was the President of the United States. To sum up, the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches (all three) said that they supported overturning Roe v. Wade.

If it were really a priority, it would have happened then. It isn't.

That majority did not change until almost a year later, when Democrats took control of Congress and the Senate on January 4 of 2007.



Edited at 2008-09-28 08:08 pm (UTC)
sherrold wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid you've convinced yourself of something that looks reasonable, but isn't actually true.

Re Alito: For the Supreme Court to act, they have to have a case come before them -- and before that, the case must have federal issues, and make it through the various lower courts. This can easily take longer than a year.

Re Congress: you assert without evidence that when the Repubs were the majority of the House and the Senate that there was also an anti-choice majority in each. There are pro-choice Republicans (and even anti-choice Democrats) in each chamber, so you'll need to show your work to prove that either chamber had a majority of anti-choicers in 2005 or 2006.

Worse, you state, "it's a fake issue"

Not if you're female it isn't. Why? Because even if they aren't able to completely outlaw abortion, they keep making it harder to get one -- can't get one in a government hospital, so servicewomen overseas can't get an abortion on base; can't get one without getting an ultrasound the day before -- this means for women without access to abortion facilities in their town, that they have to pay more, and stay overnight to get an abortion. Can't get one if you're under 18 without jumping through hoops. Can't get the abortion pill, or Day After pill in your small town if your pharmacist doesn't approve. It just keeps getting harder and harder for women to use their supposedly constitutionally protected right. So, maybe they won't completely make it illegal, but they'll sure make it more expensive and more difficult to get until it might as well be illegal.
capra124 wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Several others have stated that it's not about how a candidates feels personally, but how they will legislate the issue. Personally, I can't stand Palin, and as such will not vote for McCain, because his health puts her way too close to the office for my comfort. I do consider myself pro-choice, but this issue isn't the only one that I look at when considering the candidates. I look at several issues, such as the environment, gay/lesbian issues, abortion, etc. Each of these issues plays a role in how I view a candidate. If I can believe that their personal views won't influence their legislative decisions, then I'm more likely to consider them, but, as has been the case before, if the personal views influences their decisions, then I am not going to consider them as strongly.

As far as being pro-choice is concerned, it's about having that option, whether or not its exercised. And part of that choice is having a much more comprehensive sex education in schools and at home. Unfortunately, the religious right don't want that. They want to keep people ignorant, which creates more problems.
only1opinion wrote:
Sep. 28th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
While I agree with the rest of what capra has said, I must note that not all religious people are pro-life. I am religious... very much so. I am very Catholic, not by birth, but by choice. I am also pro-choice. I believe that taking the choice away from women, whether they exercise it or not, is potentially disastrous. I believe that no one is able to truly understand what each individual woman who needs to make this type of choice is feeling, and therefore telling them that the choice is made for them is striking at her personal freedoms. I believe in comprehensive sex education and places for both teens and adults to discuss sex in open, non-threatening forums. Being religious doesn't make all people feel that they have the right to run others' lives, just some of the loudest ones.
(no subject) - capra124 - Sep. 29th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC) Expand
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